In Episode 15 of The Skillful Podcast, Marielle and Ed discuss checking the facts. When you have a painful emotion that you want to change, using the DBT skill called Check the Facts can be very helpful. Sometimes strong, painful emotions aren’t a reaction to what has actually happened but are based on beliefs, interpretations, and assumptions about what has happened. Use this skill to help you change emotions YOU want to change – not emotions other people in your life want you to change.
- Emotions might not be based on facts
- Sometimes just checking the facts can bring down a painful emotion quickly
- Start by naming the specific emotion that you want to change
- What event brought on the emotion?
- Be non-judgmental when describing what prompted the emotion
- Name your interpretations, judgments, assumptions, and thoughts about the prompting event
- Identify the stories your mind is telling you
- Ask yourself what you’re scared of
- Imagine the worst-case scenario and think about how you would cope
- Often painful emotions are based on assuming a threat and minimizing our ability to cope
- Assess whether the intensity of your emotion fits the facts
- Assess whether how long your emotion is lasting fits the facts
- Remind yourself that you have the capacity to get through very painful things
- Sometimes the emotion fits the facts but acting on it isn’t effective
Links & Resources
To learn more about DBT and therapy in general, read our blog.
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